What is a White Paper?
A white paper typically argues a specific position or solution to a problem. Although white papers take their roots in governmental policy, they have become a common tool used to introduce technology innovations and products. A typical search engine query on "white paper" will return millions of results, with many focused on technology-related issues. White papers are powerful marketing tools used to help key decision-makers and influencers justify implementing solutions.
Know Your Audience
Perhaps the biggest mistake white paper writers make involves not properly understanding the disposition of their readers. A white paper must quickly identify problems or concerns faced by its readers and lead them down the path to a solution provided by your product or service. Different types of readers look at the same problems from different perspectives. For example, an engineer might care about technical nuances, whereas a CIO is more interested in business benefits. In the case of high-level executives or managers, their busy lifestyle means they have extremely short attention spans, an important consideration when writing to this type of audience. If you do not grab the reader's attention in the first paragraph, you will never achieve your objectives.
Decide on an Approach
There are really only two ways to write white papers: (1) by focusing on your self-interests or (2) by concentrating on the interests of your readers. The self-interest approach focuses exclusively on a product, service or solution by expounding on its benefits, features and implications. While effective in some circumstances, this approach is best left for something other than a white paper, such as a data sheet or product brief.
The alternative approach, and the one we strongly recommend, is to focus on the needs of your readers. This can be effectively accomplished by leading with the problems your solution overcomes, rather than the actual solution itself. To many people, this seems counter intuitive, but it really is just the opposite. By focusing on the pain points experienced by the reader and talking about the problems caused by those pains, you are establishing credibility with the reader and simultaneously filtering out unqualified customers.
Once the white paper is completed, please email to:
I. White Paper Title: (Remember! The title should grab the readers’ attention and also contain words that will show up in a Google search when an FM is searching for a solution to a problem)
White Paper Outline
II. Author’s Information:
III. Why the Best Practice was created: (Briefly describe the problem the best practice was developed to address – give details of particular setting i.e., interior, exterior, FOH, BOH, Kitchen Equipment, Hot Water Heater)
IV. Brief Description of Best Practice: (Provide a description of the best practice; be concise to grab the readers’ attention, but enough detail to keep them reading)
V. Description of process experience using the Best Practice: (Describe the operating experience with the best practice with particular focus on its development, FM or Operations involved and the role the practice plays in contributing to the brand, as well as cost savings, short term or long range sustainability of capitol assets.)
VI. How the success of the Best Practice was measured: (What data/operating experience is available to document how successful the best practice has been? Will the restaurant customer consent to sharing this information in this paper? Author can include charts, or graphs to demonstrate results.
VII. Benefits: (Describe all benefits from implementing or executing the best practice that would be beneficial to others.)